Terminal Lance #525 “Mentorship”

August 3, 2018

As a Senior Lance Corporal of Marines, it is your duty to train the upcoming generation boots below you to survive at home and abroad. Don’t worry about teaching them tactical stuff, they learned all of that at SOI (LOL). What the Marines of today really need is someone to teach them how to avoid bullshit and cut corners in every day garrison life. These skills will be more valuable to them during their 4 years in the Corps than anything else you can teach them.

I had the great honor of being a guest speaker at a Lance Corporal Leadership and Ethics Seminar graduation last week at Camp Pendleton, where I told the Marines the importance of staying true to yourself (and how I believe that Lance Corporals are the dick and balls of the Corps, among other things). I asked the junior Marines what the course actually consisted of (since they didn’t have it while I was active duty) and they told me it was essentially a bunch of moto stuff about Corps Values, JJDIDTIEBUCKLE, etc.–yada, yada, yada. I suppose that’s about what I would have expected, but it is also disappointing. When I think of leadership and mentorship, I think of passing down realistic, practical, and essential knowledge and values rather than just repeating platitudes heard since boot camp over glazed over Lance Corporal eyes.

Last week I was also honored to receive the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Media Award for Terminal Lance at their national convention in Kansas City. Kansas City was cool, but extremely empty. The convention itself was cool, but got really weird when Trump showed up. Overall it was certainly a fun time and I’m grateful to have been nominated for the award. It’s been a busy month for me on a personal level, but having just relocated and settled into my new place in Santa Monica (with the help of some awesome young Marines from Camp Pendleton), I hope to be back in the regular swing of things for the foreseeable future.

Stay tuned, there’s plenty more to come.



Terminal Lance #487 “Work Ethic”

August 4, 2017

Avoiding work is hard work.

Skating is a term commonly used in the Marine Corps to describe the act of avoiding any kind of actual work while in uniform. Some have even claimed this to be an acronym.

S= Seek Cover

K= Keep Quiet

A= Accept No Responsibility

T= Take No Action

E= Evade

In the Army they refer to this as “shamming.” (In the Navy and Air Force, they don’t actually work anyway, so no one has invented a term for avoiding it.)

The only people more adept at avoiding work than Lance Corporals are Chief Warrant Officers, who have gone so far as to convince the establishment that they need their own type of rank that needs to be saluted and not bothered with trivial, human matters. Lance Corporals are crafty, and they will avoid work and responsibility at all costs unless absolutely necessary.

What most fail to understand is that there is true work involved in avoiding work. It’s difficult to cover up a lie about going to medical with a lie about being at dental. A true skater makes this his full time duty, while ironically working parties usually don’t take longer than an hour. It’s not about time or money though, it’s about the craft. The art.

Skating at this level involves dedication worthy of the title of Marine.